Big increase in bookings for outdoor tables in pubs and restaurants
Pubs and restaurants have seen a huge surge in bookings for outdoor tables ahead of lockdown restrictions being eased next month, according to research.
Hospitality website Caterer.com said millions of people were making reservations for the two weeks after April 12.
Restaurants and pubs in England will be able to serve customers in outdoor seating areas from April 12 in the latest phase of the lockdown easing.
Caterer.com spokesman Neil Pattison said: “Hospitality businesses have been unfairly subjected to tighter restrictions than other sectors throughout the pandemic and our research shows just how eager people are to get back into hospitality venues.
“As we’ve seen over the last year, businesses have gone to great lengths to ensure the safety of customers.
“Many have remodelled to allow for more outdoor space enabling them to remain open within safety guidelines.”
A survey of 2,000 adults showed a third believed the hospitality sector should be allowed to reopen indoors sooner than the planned date of May 17, said the report.
Just over half of respondents said hospitality venues have higher cleanliness and Covid-19 safety precautions than other industries and public spaces, such as supermarkets.